Category: humanity

Celebrating the positive despite adversity

Sometimes the weight of the stories reported in daily news bulletins can, quite simply, be overwhelming. Pestilence, War, Famine, Death … if we listen carefully, can we hear the thunderous hooves of the Four Horsemen? Fear and anxiety certainly inhibit the creative act of putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, to capture and …

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‘10% braver’ – learnings from WomenEd Thailand

‘Be 10% braver’ is the (now surely really well-known) call to action from the WomenEd movement, which aims to support and connect aspiring and existing women leaders in education, … and I was 10% braver on Saturday last week as I said ‘sure, I will speak!’ at the WomenEd Thailand Career Clinic. It was all …

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The power of connection – why the support of our peers makes a difference to us

Einstein once wrote: “A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe’ – a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.” Einstein then went on to say: “This delusion is a kind …

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The Pattern Seekers – insights into how different brain structures have saved humanity

If you are looking for a well-referenced, very readable and intriguing but satisfying book which explores why difference in human brains is of value in our development as human beings, then you should read ‘The Pattern Seekers’, by Simon Baron Cohen. It was recommended to me by a very good friend a couple of months …

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Resilience and belonging. Ensuring #blacklivesmatter

Last week, a fellow Light Up Learning Board member came across this 2016 article from The Atlantic, and I thought it was particularly apt at this moment to share it in our history, as we all try to work out how to move definitively away from systemic, ingrained racism in our world. Written by Paul …

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Three Billboards and an urgent lesson

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri – an unprepossessing name, perhaps, but the acclaim this film has received is well-deserved. Uncomfortably funny, desperately sad and painfully shocking (often all at the same time), it takes hold of the reader in a way that it logically shouldn’t, with a combination of languor and pressing need that build …

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‘Periodic tales’: what the chemical elements remind us about education

As part of this year’s uplifting Oxford University Alumni Weekend, a panel of speakers led an engaging session inspired by Hugh Aldersey-Williams’ new book, ‘Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements’. The author himself spoke, and explored how artists, sculptors and poets across the ages have used the elements, imbuing them with meaning and …

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Learning from ants: the power of social connection

Standing on the upper concourse of London Waterloo station this morning, looking down at all the people moving purposefully to and from the platforms, I was reminded very strongly of something I had spotted earlier in the summer while on holiday. One afternoon, sitting outside in the sun, I noticed movement on the paving stones …

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Why we need the Arts in a STEM world

I am a great believer in the power of technology – in its broadest sense – to take the human race forward. I appreciate the power of innovation and creativity in science, technology, engineering and maths, and I know that we must invest in teaching our young people about the value of these subjects, because …

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What child marriage really means, and why we should do something about it

Before I travelled to Bangladesh, I knew that child marriage had been identified as a key issue in the country. According to UNICEF’s 2011 State of the World’s Children report, about a third of women in Bangladesh aged 20-24 are married by the age of 15, and 66% of girls will wed before their 18th …

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